In January, I attended the Mystic Soul conference, a gathering to explore people of color-centered spirituality and activism. The conference was in Chicago, a city known for its harsh winter weather. The first day a freezing rain fell from a grey sky, and I hurried in from the cold to a warm and gently lit room.
Our gathering was opened with the simple refrain, sung over and over:
Come on in from the cold,
Come on in from the outside.
I have been reflecting on that invitation as I journey through January and February, as the weather around me is freezing and as my soul also feels a bit cold, without the joy of Christmas anticipation to sustain me. There are no family gatherings or major celebrations to get me through this month. Instead I am needing smaller points of warmth, to notice where I am being invited in from the cold in my ordinary existence.
May you also hear those small invitations, to come in from the cold, to find warmth and connection. Whether your cold is literal or figurative, three feet of snow outside or a sense of loneliness within, this blessing is for you.
WHEN COLD, A BLESSING
When you are cold,
Your bones aching,
Your muscles tense.
When there is too little light
In your sky, as it moves from
Grey to black to grey again.
When you feel small, constricted,
May there be small sources of heat:
The light of the smile of a loved one.
The distant song of one bird,
Singing to you of spring.
The spark of recognition
In reading a sacred story.
A gift of laughter
Shared with a stranger.
May that warmth then radiate.
May it loosen your muscles,
Expand your lungs.
May your heart leap with unexpected joy.
And then –
May your warmth shine out,
May you be the source of heat for another.
That the cold around us may no longer penetrate so deeply.
That it may be met with freedom,
For we are ones who carry warmth.